Abdias Hurtado a , Carmen Asato b , Elizabeth Escudero a , Chris S. Stromquist c , Jaime Urcia a , Maria Elena Hurtado a , Sonia de la Cruz b , Mark H. Wener d , Rodolfo Zavala a , Richard J. Johnson c
30 November 1999
Background: We assessed whether immunohistologic markers for glomerular or tubulointerstitial injury might provide better correlations with ongoing renal function and disease activity as compared with the WHO classification or the NIH activity and chronicity indices in lupus nephritis. Methods: Thirty-three patients with clinically defined systemic lupus underwent renal biopsy over a 1-year period at Hospital Loayza in Lima, Peru. Biopsy specimens were evaluated for macrophages, proliferating cells, α-actin expression, and type IV collagen deposition in both glomeruli and the tubulointerstitium and the results compared with the current WHO and NIH classifications in relation to the clinical presentation. Results: Patients with WHO class IV lupus nephritis were more likely to have lower serum complements, greater proteinuria and hematuria, and worse renal function. An elevated NIH activity index correlated with microhematuria, proteinuria, and impaired renal function, whereas an elevated chronicity index correlated with renal function, hypertension, and microhematuria, but not with proteinuria. The presence of glomerular macrophages correlated with both glomerular α-actin expression and type IV collagen deposition, but did not correlate with renal function or proteinuria. In contrast, interstitial macrophages correlated not only with interstitial collagen deposition and myofibroblast accumulation, but also correlated with both renal function and the presence of nephrotic syndrome. Conclusions: Both the WHO classification and the NIH activity/chronicity indices correlate with clinical manifestations of lupus nephritis. While glomerular macrophage accumulation correlates with mesangial cell activation (α-actin expression) and collagen deposition, and interstitial macrophage accumulation correlates with interstitial fibroblast activation and collagen deposition, only interstitial macrophages correlate with renal function. Of particular interest will be future studies to determine whether these markers correlate with the prognosis.